Sorbitol Dogs Guide – Can Puppies Eat?

It is not advisable to feed your dog with refined sugar. When dogs consume refined sugars in excess, they are easily exposed to dental cavities, more chances to gain weight, and an increase in suffering metabolic conditions including diabetes. Some other health issues are associated with these metabolic conditions. The dog is likely to suffer complications of the heart and oral infection, as well as arthritis.

Nonetheless, we cannot overlook the effect of certain substitutes to refined sugars such as sorbitol. These sweeteners will feel right for the dogs and this calls for an in-depth understanding of the health value of sorbitol. Here are some things you should know

What is Sorbitol?

It is a polyol or sugar alcohol used in sweetening foods including sugar-free sweets, baked goods, as well as chewing gums. When you check the chemical structure, you find similarities between it and glucose. The problem, however, is that it has an extra hydrogen atom that makes it different. In comparison, it is about 40 percent less sweet than everyday table sugar. Owing to that, its calories and glycemic index are lowered. 

The everyday table sugar has about 4 calories in every gram, but sorbitol has 1.6 lesser per gram. To help you understand this better, the glycemic index is used to measure the increment of the blood sugar level of a dog after the consumption of carbohydrates. To guide the index, glucose is to be at a maximum level of 100, and is, therefore, considered the proportion of measurement. Sorbitol has about 4-7 glycemic index, which caters to the statement that its glycemic index is lowered.

It is a natural alcohol that can easily be found in such fruits as apples, plums, pears, and seaweed or corn. You can easily encounter sorbitol in sugar-free sweets, goods, gums, or food. You might also find it in human medicines like laxatives and cough syrups.

Can A Dog Consume Sorbitol?

The answer to this is: Your dogs can be fed sorbitol if you will do it moderately. Although you cannot undermine the toxicity of other artificial sweeteners like xylitol, sorbitol can be exempted from the negative review. Moreover, it can be found in a lot of dog foods and toothpaste.

Since it is a sugar alcohol, sorbitol does not positively or negatively affect your dog. It can be easily excreted in the unprocessed form, making the dog come to little or no harm.

Possible Side Effects

Despite the assurance that your dog can have it, there is a high chance of your dog suffering some side effects if you consume Sorbitol in a large quantity. Some of them are

  1. Slight Stomach Upset

If your dog takes it in large quantities, it might suffer slight stomach upset. The gastrointestinal distress might be identified when the dog is experiencing bloating, pain in the abdomen, gas, as well as nausea. At other times, your dog might suffer symptoms overlapping with those of irritable bowel (IBS). In case your dog suffers side effects from an excessive intake of sorbitol, you should carry your dog to the vet. Well, Humans and dogs suffering from IBS can barely avoid side effects caused by sorbitol.

  • Potential Laxative Effect

Another problem your dog might encounter after consuming sorbitol in large quantities is diarrhea. Sorbitol most times contains osmotic laxative properties and that means the sweetener can easily make your dog’s intestine filled with water. The result of this is that your dog will not dry out and will have more water to remain soft enough for passing out. The problem with this is that when a dog is prone to suffer diarrhea, sorbitol triggers it.

  • Pregnancy or Nursing Dogs Problem

As shown in the study involving the use of nursing rats, sorbitol made the offspring of both the offspring and nursing rats toxic. Some of the signs are the damages found in the liver and bone marrow of these offspring, alongside the rate at which it has shrunk off. Although the same experiment is yet to be carried out on nursing dogs, the result is likely to be the same when it comes to dogs.

  • Worsening of IBS Symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder that seriously affects the digestives systems. The symptoms have a way of interfering with the daily life of a dog. A good example is a way the bowel is chronically inflamed and causes discomfort to the bowel of the dog. Dogs suffering from IBS are less likely to absorb sorbitol and that can worsen their condition and cause them to flare-up.

It is, therefore, proper to avoid making your dog consume food with high sorbitol if it suffers from IBS.

Foods High in Sorbitol

If you have a dog that should avoid sorbitol, these are examples of foods they must avoid:

  1. Sugar-free Substances: you must look out and avoid giving them sugar-free candy, drinks, soda, or gums.
  2. Certain Fruits: Another thing you must try to avoids are such fruits as apples, raising, figs, as well as other dried fruits.
  3. Diabetic Food: In addition, they should avoid food meant for diabetic dogs.

What’s the Difference Between Sorbitol and Xylitol?

Although both are sweeteners and extracted from sugar alcohol, they have their differences. It is wise to point out now that both have low calories and cause fewer cavities in comparison to regular sugars.

Their difference is based on their health safety, sorbitol can be consumed by dogs, and Xylitol is harmful to dogs. Sorbitol only becomes toxic when the dog has irritable bowel syndrome. Xylitol, on the other hand, can damage their liver or drop their sugar level, leading to death if untended.


You can feed your dog sorbitols in a moderate quantity. Consequently, you must monitor the quantity of the sweetener in any food you want your dog to consume. Another way you can be sure to keep your dog safe is by taking advice from the vet if you are not assured of the food’s safety.

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